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Gloucester Chambers, Mount Stuart Square, Butetown

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Map ReferenceST17SE
Grid ReferenceST1896574646
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCardiff
Old CountyGlamorgan
Period19th Century
This building was constructed in c.1890?91 by the County of Gloucester Bank Ltd at numbers 15 and 16 Mount Stuart Square, replacing earlier buildings likely in the style of numbers 6?9 (NPRN 19372) and 23?23 (NPRN 19375). The ground floor contained the bank while the upper floors, known as Gloucester Chambers, held the offices of coal and shipping companies. From 1902, following the takeover of County of Gloucester Bank by Lloyds Bank in 1898, the ground floor was occupied by a clothing shop operated by Evan Roberts Ltd. Moreover, concurrent with the decline of the coal trade, the upper offices were increasingly occupied by other types of business from the 1930s. By the early 1970s the building was vacant and falling into a state of dereliction. It was demolished in 1982 following the considerable blizzard in January.

This Gothic-style building with Renaissance motifs occupied the south-east corner of Mount Stuart Square (NPRN 400316) with two wide bays facing north and three east with an additional narrow bay at the north-east corner. The main elevation was of two storeys, but the bays to the west and south of the north-east corner were of three storeys with prominent coped gables while the corner bay was topped by a round tower and spire. The eastern gable had three ball finials at peak and corners. The ground floor was of grey stone with massive segmental arches supported on pilasters, except for the central bay of the eastern side which had rectangular openings. In the southernmost bay on the eastern side was a wide entrance with segmental fanlight above. The surrounding arch was supported on chamfered pilasters with capitals decorated with botanical designs and had richly decorated spandrels. Above the arch were the words `GLOUCESTER CHAMBERS? in a panel flanked by winged beasts. In the corner bay, the entrance was through double doors above which was a segmental fanlight in an arched opening decorated with a bead and reel pattern and supported on chamfered pilasters with capitals decorated with botanical designs. Above the entrance was a massive, round, highly decorated corbel supporting a round oriel window, tower, and spire. The spire was supported on a cornice decorated with quatrefoils, had gabled dormers facing north, south, east, and west, and was topped by a ball finial. The upper storeys were built of red brick. The second storey had three tall rectangular windows in each bay, except for in the westernmost bay of the northern side where they were arched and under arched hoodmolds. Under each window was a decorated panel, excepting those in the southernmost bay on the eastern side. Above the windows were brackets, with swaging between, supporting a dentil cornice. Above this was a frieze topped with a decorated parapet extending from the westernmost bay on the northern side to the northernmost bay on the eastern side. There were three narrow rectangular windows in the northern gable, one in the eastern gable, and a series of round-headed narrow windows in the tower, all surrounded by grey stone quoining.

(Sources: Victorian Society Tour Notes, VS01/16; NRM Site File Glam/Dom/ST17SE; Welsh Newspapers Online: Evening Express (5th edn), 18.06.1891; David Webb, `Gloucester Chambers, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff?, Glamorgan Archives: Discovering Glamorgan's Past)
A.N. Coward, RCAHMW, 06.07.2018